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Sri Lankan Says Will Abide By Supreme Court Verdict Over Parliament Dissolution

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Sri Lanka Foreign Minister, Sarath Amunugama, has said the newly appointed government will abide by the ruling of the Supreme Court on the early dissolution of the parliament, local media reported on Tuesday.

Speaking to journalists in Colombo, Amunugama said that sacked Prime Minister, Ranil Wickremesinghe, had the right to seek the advice of the Supreme Court over the early dissolution, but criticised him for creating political instability in the Island country.

“We will wait and see. The government has no problem with this.

“When there is a contention between the executive and legislative, then the judiciary must give respite.

“This is the proper way,’’ Wickremesinghe said.

Some political parties, including the United National Party led by Wickremesinghe, the main opposition Tamil National Alliance and the Janatha Peramuna, filed legal challenges in the Supreme Court on Monday over President Maithripala Sirisena’s dissolution of parliament on Friday.

The parties have argued that Sirisena had no power to dissolve the parliament under the 19th amendment of the constitution.

They, therefore, requested the Supreme Court to issue an order, voiding the gazette issued by the president and to suspend the upcoming parliamentary election until a verdict is announced.

The Supreme Court is expected to announce the verdict this week.

In a special gazette notification issued on Friday, Sirisena declared Jan. 5, 2019 as the date for a snap parliamentary election in order to resolve weeks of political turmoil, which erupted after Wickremesinghe was sacked from his prime ministerial post and replaced by former President, Mahinda Rajapakse.

Sirisena’s sudden move to dissolve parliament comes one and a half years ahead of the scheduled parliamentary polls.

Sirisena dissolved the island nation’s parliament and called for a snap general election amid mounting pressure to prove a majority of lawmakers support his newly appointed prime minister.

The 225-seat parliament was dissolved on Friday and a new one will meet on Jan. 17 after a vote on Jan. 5, according to a presidential announcement.

The speaker of Sri Lanka’s Parliament, Karu Jayasuriya, warned the country could descend into political violence if the legislature remained suspended.

“The U.S. is deeply concerned by news the Sri Lanka Parliament will be dissolved, further deepening the political crisis,’’ the U.S. State Department said in a Twitter post.

“As a committed partner of Sri Lanka, we believe democratic institutions and processes need to be respected to ensure stability and prosperity.”

The dissolution is the latest twist in a constitutional crisis that began Oct. 26 when Sirisena unexpectedly fired Ranil Wickremesinghe, who served since 2015 as prime minister in a unity government with Sirisena.

He attempted to install Mahinda Rajapaksa as the new Prime Minister.

 




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